Searching for health insurance for seniors? Before you make a decision on your health insurance cover, here’s a complete overview of everything you need to know so you can find the best seniors health insurance for your needs.
As you enter the golden years of life, having good health becomes a top priority. Your circumstances may have changed, with children having grown up and started their own families, or perhaps you're embracing the freedom of retirement. However, ageing brings with it a greater susceptibility to various health risks, making health insurance a crucial consideration.
While you may already have health insurance, the policy you obtained during your earlier years may no longer align with your current needs no longer align with your current needs. That's where health insurance for Australian seniors comes in. These policies are designed to cater specifically to your present and future health requirements, ensuring that you're not paying for unnecessary coverage.
Why pay for obstetrics when expanding your family isn’t on the horizon? Instead, focus on treatments and services that are more relevant to your age group, such as cardiac-related procedures, hospital treatment, palliative care, or the option of hospital accommodation in a private room. If you have a chronic condition like arthritis, you may benefit from the expertise of specialists within the private system.
The last thing you want is to worry about the financial burden of future medical treatments. You deserve to enjoy your later years with peace of mind, knowing that your health needs will be well taken care of without any added stress. Health insurance for seniors offers the assurance and support you need to navigate this chapter of life confidently.
In just a few minutes, our comparison tool will provide you with a range of options from health insurance providers.
What Levels of Cover Are There?
Like other insurance policies, as a senior you can choose from the most comprehensive cover to affordable or basic health insurance.
These policies can include:
- Hospital cover
- Hospital and Extras Cover
Extras Only policy
A good value seniors policy will cover all the common health conditions that affect seniors. Some of these benefits won’t be covered under a standard policy for a younger individual.
A typical seniors health insurance policy for Hospital Insurance may include the following benefits:
- Emergency ambulance transportation
- Hospital accommodation in a private or shared room of a public or private hospital
- Theatre fees
- Intensive care fees
- Visits to the emergency department
- X-rays, MRI, CAT scan
- Pathology tests (e.g. blood tests)
- Cardiothoracic surgery (heart, lungs, and chest)
- Other surgeries and procedures (e.g. colonoscopy, cancer treatment, spinal back surgery, hernia repair, renal dialysis, stroke treatments)
- In-patient pharmaceutical medications
- Non-cosmetic eye surgery such as cataract removal surgery
- Prostheses (e.g. hip replacement)
- Joint replacement
- Bone marrow transplant
- Organ transplant
- In-patient psychiatric treatment
- Gap cover for visits to your GP
- Palliative care
A seniors health insurance policy that includes Extras Cover may include the following benefits:
- Optical (glasses, reading glasses, contact lenses)
- Dental (check-up, clean and scale, crowns and bridges, root canal, tooth extraction, dentures)
- Hearing aids
- Podiatry (orthotics, bunions, feet cleaning, toenail clipping)
- Remedial massage
- Psychology consultations
- Blood pressure monitors
- Non-PBS prescription medications
- Occupational therapy to help cope with daily tasks
Consider Your Current Health Needs to Find the Right Cover for You
Now is the perfect time to assess your current health insurance policy or explore the benefits of seniors' cover that caters specifically to your needs. We understand that finding the right and most affordable health insurance for seniors can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re worried about your financial situation. That's why we've gathered the essential information you need to know to simplify the process and empower you to make an informed decision.
Our user-friendly comparison tool will quickly find you a variety of choices from different health insurance providers.
In just a few minutes, you'll have a comprehensive overview to help you make the right decision for your healthcare needs.
Why Take Out Private Health Insurance?
We understand that you may have concerns about the relevance of private health insurance at your age. As you approach retirement or consider downsizing your home, managing your finances becomes a top priority, and you may question the need for health insurance, especially if you have maintained good health throughout your life.
However, it's important to recognize that this is the time when private health insurance can have significant benefits. As we age, we become more susceptible to a range of health issues, and having appropriate coverage becomes crucial.
While leading an active lifestyle, maintaining a nutritious diet, and embracing healthy habits can undoubtedly reduce health risks, it's essential to remember there are no guarantees. As a general rule of thumb, the older we are, the higher the likelihood of requiring medical treatment for injuries, illnesses, or other health complaints. Without adequate insurance coverage, these unexpected medical expenses can quickly add up, potentially impacting your financial well-being.
By securing private health insurance, you can safeguard yourself against such financial burdens. This, in turn, allows you to allocate your hard-earned savings to more fulfilling experiences, such as embarking on that long-awaited road trip around Australia or treating yourself to a relaxing tropical island getaway!
There are other reasons to consider seniors health insurance including:
Medicare doesn’t cover everything
Specially designed to meet your needs
Skip the waiting lists
Preventative treatment options
When’s The Best Time for Seniors to Review Their Health Insurance Policy?
Are you currently covered by health insurance? If it's been a while since you last updated your policy, now is the perfect time to review it. This proactive approach ensures that you have the right level of coverage to meet your needs. Plus, reviewing your policy can potentially save you money in health insurance premiums while maintaining the necessary benefits.
When considering a switch to a different health insurance plan, it's important to keep a few key factors in mind. If you opt for a policy with a lower level of cover, you may be required to re-serve waiting periods for certain treatments. However, if you choose a plan with equivalent benefits, you won't need to go through the waiting times again, even if you have a pre-existing condition. This means you can switch to a policy that offers a better deal without sacrificing important medical care when you need it most.
If you've held the same health insurance product for several years, it's always a good idea to review the benefits and premiums. You might be surprised by the potential savings you can achieve by transferring your cover to a dedicated seniors policy. These specialised policies cater specifically to the needs of older Australians, providing tailored coverage at a more affordable price.
Don't hesitate to take the time to evaluate your health insurance options. It's a proactive step towards securing the right coverage that aligns with your current situation and offers peace of mind for the future.
Private Health Insurance Tax Benefits
The Australian government offers a private health insurance rebate to all Australians, provided their taxable income is below the threshold. When you reach 65, the tax rebate increases. This enables the Government to contribute more towards your health insurance while you pay less.
Your age also affects your tax rebate and applies most specifically towards those seniors on a low income. Regardless of your age, if you earn a high income that exceeds the threshold, you’re exempt from the rebates.
A higher tax rebate means you’re able to afford a higher level of health insurance than before. This can help ease the financial burden of expensive medical costs, avoid lengthy waiting lists and provide you with more benefits.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card income test
The Australian Government’s Department of Human Services offers a range of benefits to seniors through the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.
If you’re eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you could enjoy the following benefits:
- Cheaper prescriptions through the government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- Access to bulk-billed doctors’ appointments
- Reduced out-of-hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
- A quarterly Energy Supplement, helping you pay your phone and electricity bills
- Discounted travel on Great Southern Rail services, including the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overland
- Access to additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions that may be offered by your state, territory or local government
To be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card, you need to be 66 and 6 months or over, and living in Australia as an Australian resident or on a Special Category visa. You must not be eligible to receive a payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Human Services.
You’ll be asked to provide your own and your partner’s tax file numbers and you’ll be subjected to an income test. To qualify for the Commonwealth seniors card, you must have an annual income of less than:
- Singles - $90,000
- Combined income for couples - $144,000
- Combined income for couples who are separated by illness or respite care, or where one partner is in prison - $180,000
The income limits increase by $639.60 for each dependent child in your care.
The income limits increase by $639.60 for each dependent child in your care.
SAged Care Seniors Health Insurance
Private health insurance for seniors doesn’t provide cover for aged care support. However, there are three main types of aged care support available for eligible seniors that are partly government funded. This can help substantially lower the costs so you can spend the money on more important things like checking off items on your bucket list.
To help with daily living tasks, the main types of aged care support partly funded by the Government include:
Commonwealth Home Support Program
Aimed to provide basic support services for those seniors who want to stay at home and enjoy their independence. This may include weekly cleaning or shopping trips
Home Care Package
A service that aims to provide support for those seniors living in their own home with moderate care needs. This may include care from bathing and dressing to home maintenance and transportation.
Provides accommodation in an aged care facility on a respite or permanent basis. This will include meals, laundry services and electricity costs. Respite care is partly funded by the Government, while permanent high care is solely funded by the client.
Seniors also have the option of receiving home care through a private agency at their own cost.
What’s next when deciding on seniors health insurance?
In an ideal world, senior citizens wouldn't have to worry about the costs of private health insurance. They could simply focus on enjoying their retirement and using their savings for the things they love. However, the reality is that as we age, our health becomes more vulnerable, and having seniors private health insurance can provide invaluable peace of mind. By choosing the right policy that caters to your current and future needs, you can maximise the benefits of your health cover.
The good news is that finding the best seniors health insurance is quick and easy. With just a few minutes of your time, you can compare a range of options tailored to your specific healthcare needs.
Our user-friendly comparison tool will walk you through the process, ensuring that you find the policy that suits you best. So take a moment to explore your options and discover the ideal seniors health insurance plan for your well-being and financial security.
If you have any questions or queries with your seniors health insurance, we have friendly staff who are all health insurance experts. You can call one of our team on 1300 806 119
FAQSWhat are exclusions in seniors' health insurance?
Exclusions refer to specific medical conditions, treatments, or services that are not covered by your health insurance policy. It's essential to understand these exclusions to avoid any surprises when seeking medical care.How does the Medicare Levy Surcharge affect seniors with private health insurance?
The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional tax imposed on high-income earners who do not have private hospital cover. Seniors with private health insurance can avoid this surcharge and potentially save money on their taxes.Does senior health insurance cover elective surgery?
Yes, most seniors' health insurance policies cover elective surgeries. However, it's crucial to review the policy details to understand the waiting periods, coverage limits, and any specific conditions related to elective procedures.What is Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, and how does it impact seniors?
Lifetime Health Cover Loading is a government initiative aimed at encouraging Australians to take out private hospital cover early in life and maintain it. Seniors who didn't have private hospital cover before turning 31 may incur an LHC loading when they decide to take out health insurance later in life. It's important for seniors to understand the implications of LHC loading and how it can affect their premiums.